Striving for zero gender violence
Monica Gender Based Violence Solution seeks to help and involve both genders in the fight against violence, with the ultimate aim to eliminate gender violence altogether. It was founded by 23-year old Shaanika Nashilongo who named the organisation after First Lady Madam Monica Geingos, “because of her impressive focus in identifying the root causes of violence and eliminating it.”
Shaanika said the First Lady inspired him to open an organisation because since she became First Lady one of the things she concentrated on was gender violence. “Each month I would read about her involvement in the battle against violence and no one was left out from women, men, children and even prisoners. And to me the name Monica also means, mother to the Namibian nation, therefore this organisation is a mother to all Namibians from all walks of life even the perpetrators,” explained Shaanika.
He said it is a good feeling knowing that someone is able to open up to him with their problems and knowing that he is able to help them out of their situation, to help them heal, to be a good person and move in the light. “My knowledge is also enhanced through the people I help. I learn a lot and gain experience that I will use to help others,” he emphasised.
He advised both victims and perpetrators to come to the organisation for help, stating “because there is always a solution.” Shaanika said the members of Monica Gender Based Violence Solution hold workshops and give advice to both the offenders and the victims and they should not be afraid to come out and hear from them.
He said that even though they help many people out of terrible situations, they still face challenges as an organisation of which the most obvious is financial. “We have a lot to do to stop gender violence but we do not have money to do all that needs to be done. Since we are now working in six regions it has become even more difficult to demobilize gender violence,” he explained while extending an appeal to those who can assist them with anything they have or give them donations of any kind to help them bring gender violence to zero.
Besides the challenges the organisation faces Shaanika plans to bring gender violence to zero percent in Namibia and in Africa, to educate Namibian people on how to avoid becoming perpetrators or falling victim to gender violence and how to fight it. “Namibian men and women need more workshops on how to fight gender violence and how to foster good relationships in which no one will be abused and no kids will be in the streets, stealing, prostituting and copying bad abusive manners from parents if they are violent,” he said.
He invites people from all walks of life that need advice, counselling or any help to come to them especially women that are doing abortions, people with suicidal thoughts and those thinking of committing crime.
“The nation should come and open up to us, we are here for them and we do not want more deaths from people killing each other,” concluded Shaanika.